Dressing the Bump

Dressing the Bump posts will center around trying to stay fashionable and comfortable while being a curvy/chubby/fat/whatever mama-to-be. Pretty maternity clothes are not easy to come by, especially if you are over a size US18/UK20. Affordable and trendy clothes seem to peak around a size US 14/UK 16. That would have been fine had I gotten pregnant right when I got married. But a baby, and staying a size 14, just wasn’t in the cards for me at that time.

Rather than gamble by buying plus-size wear online before trying it on, I’ve decided that it’s worth to continue my growth as a sewist and sew through my pregnancy. I am also keeping my eyes open for low-costing clothes that can easily be refashioned later. Today for example, I wore a Gap skirt that I purchased for £12. I figured once I grew out of it I could convert it into a maternity skirt, attaching a knit band to accommodate the bump.

Dressing the Bump

So that’s what I wore today. Today happened to be my midwife appointment. I have had two scans but have yet to hear the baby’s heartbeat so I was way excited for this appointment. But my chubby belly failed me. The midwife had a hard time finding the baby’s heartbeat with the fetal monitor. I didn’t panic. I had read that medical professionals can sometimes have a hard time finding a baby’s heartbeat when a women is over a certain BMI. *Sigh* But I have to admit, a little part of me died inside when she instructed me to pull my belly back as she continued to search for the heartbeat. But no luck. She instructed me to get dressed and asked if it would be okay if she referred me to the hospital. Of course I thought it was fine. I went straight there from her office. Still I didn’t panic.

I emailed my husband to keep him up to speed. He replied,”Oh no!  That’s worrying.  Keep me updated, please!” And that’s when I started to panic. If my “Cool as a Cumber” husband was worried that meant I should be worried too, right? And then began the longest bus ride to the hospital ever. Twelve minutes felt more like ages. Upon arriving to the hospital I went into the toilets and had myself a nice good cry. I’m not sure if I was giving into dark suspicions, or just letting the worry take over me. But I felt a bit better. Although, in the lift I started to look at a women’s big pregnant belly longingly, wondering if mine would get to grow that size.

Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. I was seen soon after arriving at the Maternity Day Unit. They were going to use a fetal monitor but after hearing how it had failed this morning the technician went with a scan. And that’s when I saw it, Chexie’s heart beating. I’m not going to lie. I cried. I was too happy and relieved to see that moving little baby not to.

I left the hospital with a less heavy heart, wondering how long would it be before the fetal monitor could pick up the baby’s heartbeat? I don’t think I can go through another scare like that! My friend has offered to lend me her fetal monitor and I am taking her up on it. I think it’ll be exciting to finally hear it, whenever that may be.

Week 17 ( A few days late)

I have to admit, I would see a lot of pregnancy blogs feature a pregnancy survey and totally roll my eyes. But now that I’m pregnant, I can’t help but want to play along. I want to remember all the little things. Besides, it will hold me accountable to taking those bump pics. Also, I’ve been keeping notes for myself but figured since now I have a baby blog I might as well write some of my pregnancy details here. But no fear, I won’t be discussing any grim bits here.  I hope.

On this day I was 16 weeks and 5 days. Close enough to 17, I say.

How far along | 17 weeks and 3 days

Baby’s Size | Last week it was an avocado. This week? No fruit to compare it to. Although it weighs as much as a turnip.

Weight Gain | Minus 3 pounds from when I first got the pregnancy news.

Sleep |
Ugh. I’d love some. I was sleeping poorly for a few weeks. Then I wasn’t. But now for the last week or so I’ve been waking and staying up for a couple of hours. Usually falling asleep when the sun rises.

Clothes | I can still fit into most of my clothes, just not comfortably. Skirts are my go-to these days. And dresses.

Cravings | I had the biggest hankering for Starbursts. Finally got some and they were amazing. I’m not one for candy. I prefer chocolate. The Starbursts want took me by surprise. I also craved freshly baked bread. So I made some. Next week I might try bagels.

Time for lunch.


Food Aversions |
I lost my appetite during the first trimester and it’s slowing coming back. I have good days and I have bad days. I guess the best part of not having an appetite is that I am eating 3 solid meals a day without the usual horrible pre-pregnancy snacking in between.

Symptoms | growing pains: achy belly and back here and there.

Movement | On September 17th I finally felt some movement. I was very excited but unsure since, hell, it could’ve been gas (Oops, sorry. Promise I won’t get grosser than flatulence). But the movements I’ve felt since then have been quite similar. As of now I only feel it if I am resting my hands on my belly.

Belly Button | Innie. I suspect it’ll stay that way. Just a hunch.

Gender | We won’t find out for another 3 weeks. Can’t come soon enough!

Highlight of the Week | Feeling the baby move here there has been the best part of this pregnancy so far. And the readings.

What I miss | Soft cooked eggs. The one thing I’d love to eat is a yummy runny egg on toast.

Worry worm

 

Soon after the joy of finding out we were pregnant passed, worry set in. And it hasn’t left. I believe it’s here to stay. At least until the wee one grows up and has a family of its own. You see, I started worrying at the little things. When I sneezed I imagined the baby popping out. Not kidding. When I walked down the circular stairs that lead from my flat, I was terrified that at any moment I would trip. Cramps were confusing, was it a growing pain or was it worse?

Luckily when the second trimester arrived a lot of the weight on my shoulders lifted. But it soon returned when I realized that between this week and that I should be feeling my baby move. Your thoughts always seem the scariest, craziest and absurd when you can’t sleep. I’ve been suffering from insomnia off and on since getting pregnant. I wake up anywhere between 3AM and 5AM and stay awake until 6:30AM. But there has been a bit of a distraction. When I’m lying still I can feel some movement and instantly I become serene and feel as light as a feather. But then a day goes by and I’m back to worrying, wondering if there’s something wrong with the baby. Why isn’t it moving more? And then it happens again. I feel some movement and everything becomes good again.

I don’t think I will ever stop worrying about this babe. Not ever. But we will always have those moments when all is well and life will just seem lovely and dream-like.

 

Reading Time

As soon as I read that Chexie* was old enough to  hear my voice I started to read some books I bought for the occasion. Before going to sleep I read it aloud to my husband and the baby. It’s such a sweet, calming moment. I can only hope when I meet Chexie that s/he will recognize my voice. Am I asking too much? No matter. I am loving these little moments with just husband, baby and me.

Chexie’s first books so far are Goodnight Moon. Written by a fellow Hollins College (currently Hollins University) alumna so it had to be added to the library without question.

Goodnight Moon

Guess How Much I Love You (which makes me cry every time)

And The Gruffalo’s Child

We are planning on getting some bilingual books, in Spanish and English. It’ll definitely help me practice my Spanish and my husband (maybe?) learn a bit for himself. We’ve decided he’ll be reading those aloud as a learning exercise :).

*Our nickname for the baby

My baby blog intentions

Health
Being a plus size mama-to-be is a nerve-wrecking experience. There are no positives reflected in the medical community when it comes to plus-size pregnancies. You are constantly told to beware of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, a forceps-assisted labor, and etc. So of course soon after finding out I was pregnant that feeling of elation was replaced with nervousness and anxiety. I had no intentions to be overweight (the doctor’s term for me would be obese) when pregnant. I was training for a half marathon when we fell pregnant. Unfortunately I hadn’t reached a fitness level that allowed me to continue. I was still out of shape and the struggle to continue was far too much for me. So I’ve settle for walks and yoga.

As far as food, I must admit that I am not eating all my necessary nutritional requirements. With little appetite during the first, and current, trimesters I gravitate towards foods that sound remotely nice: grapes, apples, Nutella, potatoes and beef. I am planning to post a chart on my fridge and tick off every time I fulfill a nutritional requirement. Seeing what I need to eat will be a lot easier than guessing.

I am hoping that keeping a blog will keep me honest about my healthy routines. There are many women who have wonderful, safe and smooth plus-size pregnancies. I am refusing to be scared and instead be aware of what I need to do to have a great pregnancy.

Fashion
I love dressing up and being pregnant isn’t going to change that. I’m actually really looking forward to making my maternity clothes. You see, I love to sew. I’m planning on embracing the layered look for fall. I have already made a sweet dress that will look great with cardigans, tights, sweaters, so on.

Final version of Simplicity 8670 (maternity pattern) in Liberty cotton and Japanese lace

I am really looking forward to sharing my plus-size maternity outfits. I am currently unemployed and need a reason to get dressed and going in the day! Why not make a photo shoot out of it?

Body Acceptance
I will never have that gorgeous sleek body with small cute bump. I will not fit into skinny jeans 2 weeks postpartum. It’s just not going to happen. Instead of mourning those facts I am going to celebrate the body that has allowed me to complete a number of road races, gets me from point A to B, and is giving us the baby we are so thankful for.

We made the announcement

Final version of Simplicity 8670 in Liberty cotton and Japanese lace

In July we found out we were expecting and have kept it mostly to ourselves until recently. We had already told our close friends and family. Now it was time to share it with the world (meaning Facebook). We decided to do a cute rebus puzzle, thinking it clever, cute, and original. Well, it definitely is all those things. Unfortunately we didn’t count on how many people were unfamiliar with them, so our great big announcement fell flat. Oh well. What can you do? It feels like the moment has passed and to announce it again would feel like we’re fishing for congratulations when all we really want to do is share the news.

Anyhow, here’s the rebus puzzle***.

Get it? We totally thought it was a great easy puzzle. So much so we didn’t offer any other clues! So silly of us. Like my husband said, we made it up so of course it made sense to us easily enough.

So that’s the story about the our semi-unsuccessful baby announcement. So if you learn anything from me is that going the obvious route (in regards to announcements) seems to be the way to go with Facebook :).

***Answer:
1) Rocky minus Y= Rock
2) The Fonz says,”Aaaaayyyy”= A
3) Woman buying something= Buy/Bye
4) Bay= Bay
5) Bee= Bee

Rock-A-Bye-Baby 🙂